Story by William Brown exclusively for Vagobond.com
A Dublin Christmas. Dublin may not be the first city you think of for Christmas or Winter travel, but the truth is – it’s a fun city to visit any time of the year. Yes, it rains in Dublin, yes, it can be cold in Dublin but are you there for the outdoors? If you are – then you’ve made a terrible mistake. Dublin isn’t the place for skiing, hiking, or other outdoor activities when it’s cold – but – it’s a city that has weathered the winter for a long time and there is plenty to do indoors at Christmas time.
More than just pubs (which are pretty fantastic anyway – there’s a reason every city in the world has an Irish Pub!) there are spas, gastronomic delights, world class cuisine and plenty of quirky, historic, or downright luxurious hotels in Dublin – like The Westbury Hotel – a five star hote in Dublin. You can relax, watch shows for a fraction of the price you would pay in London or New York, enjoy shopping, and if you are lucky enough to be there at this time of the year you can enjoy a truly Irish Christmas.
Dublin is magnificent at Christmas time. The turning on of the Christmas lights has become an annual pageant that not only switches the lights on, but also kicks up the festive Christmas Spirit like nowhere else on Earth. More than 30 streets in the city center take part in bringing the season to life.
Whether you are old, young, with family, or on a couple’s holiday – there are numerous Christmas festivals, Christmas Fairs, and other jolly happenings from early December all the way through the New Year.
If you’ve forgotten to send out your Dear Santa letters there are special mailboxes set up just for express service to the North Pole at St. Stephens Green. Santa himself will make appearances at roadshows and malls throughout Dublin bringing elves, Rudolf, Mrs. Claus, and Frosty with him.
You can catch the Santa Experience at Dunnes Store which was voted one of the best children’s Christmas experiences in all of Ireland. (Dunnes Stores, Henry Street, 2nd Floor, Dublin 1)
In my opinion, one of the best Santa events is the Santa Grotto at the Dublin Zoo. From 20-24 December kids can meet Santa, meet gorillas, meet elephants, and arts, crafts and a gift for the kids from old St. Nick himself.
For those who love European Christmas Markets, you won’t want to miss the Christmas Market at Christ Church Cathedralwhich runs for a final day on Saturday, the 22nd of December. Handmade and festive Christmas crafts and goods are there in plenty for unique gifts and a wonderful Irish Christmas experience. (Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 8)
There are literally hundreds of special family Christmas events, plays, shopping center displays, and more in Dublin. Here is a pretty nice list of Christmas events in Dublin.
For the adults there are plenty of Christmas cocktail parties, Christmas jazz, Christmas spas, and Christmas events throughout the city up until the big day. And after that, they continue as New Years Events, after that, it’s St. Patricks Day events…this is Ireland after all. No shortage of excuses to grab a pint of Guinness or a fine glass of whiskey.
Wherever you are Best Wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Or if you prefer the Gaelic - Le gach dea-ghuí i gcomhair na Nollag agus na h-athbhliana!